Make no mistake about it—we are having a crisis of trust in America. Most people don’t know who to trust; what to trust; when to trust or how to trust. Faith in self, and others is on a steep decline while suspicion and fear continue to rise. And yet, the truth remains, no matter who you are, what you do, or where you go, there comes a moment when you simply must trust—something or someone.


Firm belief in the integrity, reliability, truth, ability, or strength of
someone or something; Belief in and reliance on connection to the Divine

In this compelling New York Times best seller, filled with illuminating and heartrendingly powerful stories of broken trust, betrayal, and triumph, Iyanla demonstrates why the four essential trusts—Trust in Self, Trust in God, Trust in Others, and Trust in Life—are like oxygen: without them, none of us can survive.

• Do you trust your own voice?
• Do you trust that you can hear the voice of God?
• Do you trust yourself to see and hear what others are really saying and doing?
• Do you trust (no matter how hard it may be) that there are no mistakes in life?


The pain of broken trusts gets our attention. And the deeper and greater the pain, the more apt we are to listen, to feel, and to seek healing. Most of us are generally so anesthetized that we can deal with a slight headache. We can even handle a throbbing aggravation. But when our pain escalates to an unbearable migraine and no prescribed painkiller can offer relief—then we start to pay attention.

Today the pain from our individual and collective trust violations has reached the excruciating migraine level! We are at migraine-level pain mentally, economically, socially, politically, and spiritually. We want the pain to stop, but relieving pain, like building trust, is an inside job. It is only when you have been broken down mentally, emotionally, or spiritually and choose to stand up and keep moving that you can know the true meaning and value of trust.


Over the decades, I have worked with many, many people, all of whom were at various stages of experiencing a trust breakdown or breakthrough: the mother who did not have the courage to tell her daughter she did not know who her father was; the transgender woman whose father was a minister and could not accept her lifestyle; the reality star married to a pro athlete who was abusive and cheated on her; the man who fathered 34 children; the NFL player who lost his sense of self when he lost his career; the minister who fathered a child with one of his congregants then ignored the child in the pews every Sunday morning; the 600-pound woman who did not leave her home for seven years, her bed for five years.

Each person represents a microcosm of the world in which we live—where anger and fear,
confusion and isolation, lack of faith and a wanton disregard for the divine process of life causes
people to act against their true nature. So what’s a human being to do?




Trust yourself because you are worthy of your own time, energy, attention, and love. You—as a demonstration of and representative of the presence of the Creator in the world—deserve and are worthy of your own trust . . . Trust yourself because it is the way you demonstrate that you are willing to embrace, engage, and enjoy life . . . Trust yourself because when the rubber meets the road, when all else fails, when everyone else has fallen by the wayside, you will know that you have always been and will always be there for you.


Trust in God because it is your sole purpose for being on the planet. Trust in God because you are a human being, prone to losing connection to and awareness of your good sense . . . Trust in God because it is the sure way that you will rise above your humanness into the truth of your authentic identity that is divine, purposeful, joyful, loving, and lovable . . . Trust in God because when you cannot do it—whatever it is—for yourself, God can do it through you and for you.


Trust in others because it is the only way to fine-tune your instincts, deepen your ability to trust yourself, and learn the depth of your capacity to love and forgive. . . Trust in others because you need people to facilitate and support your mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Even when your interactions and relationships are difficult, challenging, and uncomfortable, trust that you are growing. Trust in others because those whom you do trust—with or without good reason—will support you in recognizing the areas of your mind and heart that may still need loving care and attention.


Trust the process of life because it is an incredible journey of wonder, adventure, and evolution that you can experience only in direct proportion to your willingness to trust it. Trust the process because life is on your side. Life wants to encourage you, inspire you, and motivate you, moment by moment, and that can happen only when you trust that life knows exactly what you need, and exactly when you need it . . . When you trust the process, you will deepen your awareness and understanding of who you are and the meaning of every person and experience you encounter.

Mastering these four essential trusts requires both a process and a practice. Life gives you the process through your experiences; people provide you the opportunity to practice. Whether you are faced with the specter of an unfaithful spouse, a manipulative colleague, a rebellious child, or a corrupt institution, Iyanla not only explores what trust really is, but she reveals why some of life’s most shocking trust violations offer us the most profound opportunities for personal growth and healing.




If I couldwoman-gracefully-falling-jumping-of-tree-in-field offer the world a mantra, an affirmation for successful living, it would be, Trust yourself, Trust God, Trust others, and Trust in life. These four essential tools must be understood, embraced, and mastered. Without these tools, you will eventually become disillusioned, frustrated, embittered, or stuck. With them, you will be guided, protected, enlightened, and fulfilled. Without these essential ingredients, your mind will be confused, conflicted, clouded, and prone to giving the negative ego dominion over your consciousness. With them, your mind will remain open, flexible, and teachable.


Until and unless you master these four levels of trust, your heart will be at risk. It will become brittle, broken, hardened, and embattled. It will be prone to attack you and everyone else.



I wish I could tell you differently, but I cannot. What I have learned and now live is that you will be able to master these four essentials only when you are willing to be vulnerable, when you have successfully subdued the negative ego, and when you agree to accept total and complete responsibility for every choice you have made and the consequences of those choices in your life. Otherwise, you will simply continue to chase peace and joy.